Journal of Cape Verdean Studies


Given that no extensive study on reading instruction and reading attitudes has been carried out country-wide in The Republic of Cabo Verde, (a ten island archipelago off the western coast of Africa), educational practitioners and policy makers in that nation are left with a dearth of accurate information when making decisions surrounding these constructs in the classroom, in the universities, or in the policy rooms of that nation. In a 2007 article, Commeyras & Inyega published research on reading instruction in Kenya and encouraged researchers to follow their example, i.e. to locate all pertinent literature and to conduct a review of the state of reading education in each of the African countries “for the benefit of all… who are working to promote and improve reading on the African continent.” (p.278). In order to collect information on reading instruction and reading attitudes in Cabo Verde (CV), the author distributed surveys to all 2972 primary level Cape Verdean teachers employed in Cabo Verde at the time of the study, visited the nine inhabited islands, and interviewed 116 Cape Verdean teachers teaching in primary schools on those islands. Results from these interviews and the 1071 returned surveys indicate that Grades 1-3 teachers in Cabo Verde most often use a bottom-up approach to reading instruction and teachers in Grades 4-6 most often use a top-down approach. Information gleaned from the surveys and the interviews show that most CV primary level teachers hold to a strict page-by-page use of the government provided textbook, with very limited use of children’s storybooks, folktales, children’s own authored stories, or narrative text longer than a few sentences or a paragraph. While varying by island and other demographics, few families have novels or story books at home and few teachers have them in their classrooms. A high percentage of respondents indicate that the reading of storybooks either in the classroom or for pleasure outside of school is not common across Cabo Verde. Variations in responses are discussed, and recommendations for future research are presented.

Note on the Author

Dr. David Almeida is Professor of Education at Bridgewater State University. Dr. Almeida is the former Chair of the Department of Special Education and his research focuses particularly on the areas of Reading and Special Education.